Same Dress day 227

When people ask me why I wear the same dress every day, I tell them the honest answer–it’s just easy. It’s nice to know what I’m wearing each day so I don’t have to worry about if I have anything clean right now that fits me. It’s nice to wear something I feel beautiful in so I can stop worrying about whether I look pretty enough. It’s nice to pull something out of my closet with the same carefree confidence that a man uses to put on the same jeans and t-shirt or sweater each day (which he is never questioned about). As the months have gone on, I’ve realized that it’s not just a lifestyle change spurred by frustration with my closet. It also represents the rejection of worry centered around my appearance. Although I project a very feminine gender expression, it is motivated by this very second-wave utilitarianism in fashion and third-wave sexual confidence.

Dresses have always been my default because I love the ease and comfort of wearing them–they make me feel free. I can pack less, I can add leggings or tights or scarves, I can still fit in a good cotton shift when my weight fluctuates five or ten pounds. Whatever I add or subtract to it–jewelry, accessories, heels, weight, cardigans, tights–The Look is always anchored by this simple, solid column of fabric. So in its way, it’s extremely practical for my lifestyle and responsibilities.

Reconciling my feminism with my love of clothing–and my tendency toward the feminine fineries of fashion–has never felt challenging to me because I think that if we ignore the power of clothing to influence how we are treated, we cede our power to influence or change that system. The act of getting dressed has political and economic consequences on a broad level, and the increasing accessibility of fashion offers more class mobility, opportunities for identity exploration and actualization, and creates a visible narrative of the shifting of power in our society. Clothing is transformative. When our social, economic, and political opportunities are always attached to the way we look, that’s something to be aware of and something worth reacting to. I’ve reacted by creating a uniform for myself that I love.

Photo by Daniel Muller.

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+ four = 8

  • Vane

    Well I disagree with Farren. The fashion industry is what people IN the fashion industry make of it, and fashion is what each individual makes of it. I absolutely admire people – WOMEN – who know what works for them and (more importantly) can make it work for them also. It takes a certain level of self awareness and talent with aesthetics, no matter what the style is.

  • BJ

    I don’t have the kind of climate or lifestyle conducive to wearing the same item over and over, but I do live in dresses 75% of the time and I do tend to wear only four colors (if we count polka dot as a color, which we should). It’s nice to walk into a store and be able to walk past 90% of the stuff in there because it’s not a dress that’s black/grey/purple/polka dot, without feeling any temptation to look at anything else.

    I put a lot of effort into selecting a dress, but once I do, it’s all easy from that point onwards. I think a lot of people do the reverse – go buy a bunch of stuff on a whim, then fret and fuss about how to wear it and what to wear it with every morning. Wasted time and energy in my opinion. Keeping my closet small has simplified my life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kayles Kaylee Colton Koenig

    I LOVE that you’re doing this. I’ve considered it for myself because putting on makeup and doing my hair already requires ENOUGH effort, and then I waste 30 minutes looking through my closet trying to put together something that may or may not make me feel better about myself. I know makeup artists who wear minimal makeup and other fashion icons who wear only black… if you’re busy, it’s all about maximizing your time and putting effort where it matters the most. :) Keep it up!

  • http://twitter.com/maggiesimek Maggie Simek

    Clothing IS transformative, and in working in the fashion world for many years, I’ve come to realize that when you feel good about the way that you look, the more confidence you have. I think that a woman should be allowed to dress in whatever she wants whether it is the same uniform everyday, or leopard pants, or in sweats, if it makes her feel good about herself.

  • Gini M

    I have to say that I completely ADORE that cape!

    • http://about.me/meganhunt Megan Hunt

      thanks gini. it’s vintage and I got it at scout dry goods in omaha!

  • Farren

    I find it ironic that a person who is in the “fashion” business would post something like this.

    • http://about.me/meganhunt Megan Hunt

      I get that. I think my confidence in style that I’ve gained over the last year has made me even better at what I do and more in-tune to what our customers want, and what we should actually be selling them.

  • Janice

    Well said!

    • http://about.me/meganhunt Megan Hunt

      thanks janice.

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